Interview with Emily Kjeer by Zayne Engel
Recently, Staff member Zayne Engel sat down with Emily Kjeer, Inkwell’s Programs Editor, to talk about how she got started as a writer and what publishing her own work has been like. Below is their interview.
Who/what inspired you to start writing?
Actually, it was a children’s movie for me. I started writing when I was thirteen. I had strep throat and an ear infection at the same time, which made it hard for me to do anything. So, I stayed in my room and watched a lot of children’s movies on YouTube. One of them happened to be a stereotypical story about a princess and a prince and it got me thinking that maybe I could try to write something like it. The next morning, I wrote this really dumb short story that intrigued me, so I just kind of kept going and going. It ended up with me just really loving to write.
What is your favorite genre of books?
Young Adult Fantasy
What do you do for Inkwell?
I’m Inkwell’s Programs Editor, so I’m in charge of our random events throughout the year. I ran the 21-Day Writing Challenge and other similar events, and I’m hoping to start a writing and reading group on campus next semester.
Tell me a little about the novel you published when you were fifteen.
Dragon Shadow is a Young Adult Fantasy novel about a young girl and her friends who find themselves in a position to defeat a dragon who has been plaguing their homeland. They find out that the dragon is actually working for someone, and continue on their quest to defeat this higher evil. I self-published it with my sister. It was kind of a complicated process, but we are really proud to have gotten through it on our own.
What is your favorite book or series of books?
I really like Frankenstein. I read it for the first time this semester in Literary Studies and it really intrigued me. I would like to go back and read it again, now that I’m not under the mindset of a class, and really explore the book more. It really surprised me, how much I liked it.
Who is your favorite author?
There are way too many to choose from!
What is your favorite part about writing?
I like the escape aspect of it. I like being able to sit in my room, or wherever I am, and write about something completely far away. It’s like my mind is transported and I go to a completely different place, and it’s really freeing.
What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to become a writer?
I would say just go for it and don’t be afraid to make a mess. If you are writing and you’re not sure where the story is supposed to go, or how a good author would write it, just try to let go of some of that and sort of spill out whatever is on your mind. If you’re thinking you want to write a book about gardening then just go for it, even if you don’t know anything about it. If it’s on your mind then just put it on the page.
If you could meet any fictional character from any book you have previously read, who would it be and why?
I would say Frodo from The Lord of The Rings. His character and I are very similar in a lot of ways. I’d really be interested in talking to him and to get his advice on how to write a good book because he’s technically the one who wrote the whole story.
Finally, the most important question of them all, does pineapple belong on pizza?
Nope, definitely not, I’m not a pineapple person.
Zayne Engel is a freshman whose major is currently undecided. He is a member of Bethany’s Men’s Basketball team and in his free time, he likes to read and write. Zayne enjoys reading because of the freedom of it; opening a book can literally take you to a completely different place.